Fighting to the Temple Doors of the Sanctum

No more miniature making sessions for Serpent Skull 🙁

Tuesday night rocked up and we returned to the final few sessions of the Serpent Skull adventure path from Paizo.  the last push to the finish was under way as they used the ultimate weapon to find Ilmurea in turmoil and their direct task at hand.  It was a grim start to the game as the players realised they were going to be heading into the depths of the Serpent folk city.

Earlier in the week I began to get the touch of nostalgia for this game.  I realised as I sat cutting out paper miniatures that this would be the last time I was doing this for the campaign.  The wild creatures of the deep jungle and the even darker creatures of Ilmurea will soon be a thing of the past, of course depending on what the players decide to do post war.

So much evil in such small packages

I have also made the decision to try and communicate as much of the remaining plot to the players as I can through the actions of the NPC’s though Tuesday night was a massive failure.  I have been gaming nearly every night this week and the energy banks were low for the game so the NPC’s had little flourish.  This of course did not mean that the game was not exciting.  The design of the final push had the players deep in the story and worried for their lives.  In fact there was a death even as the Temple Guards finished off the Cavalier’s (Seleca Crane) cohort from her leadership feat.  The only real cleric in the party!

Some of the parties original miniatures.  Soon I will need
to paint a new “fellowship” of cut-throat evil pirates!

The players are also beginning to feel the effects of the game coming to a close.  I have been asked several times over the past couple of weeks from different players that I am still planning on some games with these characters after the adventure path is over.  I do, of course, intend to do just that but not immediately.  The Skull and Shackles adventure path is to be immediately started at the end of this adventure path though i intend to run one month of games with the old Serpent Skull crew in between each of the Skull and Shackles modules.  this should get the characters close to twentieth level by the time the Skull and Shackles come to a close.  It has taken about a year and three months of practically weekly games to get the players to this point and I have no intention of discarding them long term.

The party last night fought some tough opposition in the final battle that should have tested them.  A variant of a hydra and some serious fighters with some major discipline in their weapons.  As noted above the cohort was a casualty, and one that cannot be replaced easily.  The Cavalier herself almost got killed as she could not find a way to stand toe to toe with the hydra as it kept snatching up opponents and hurling them away.  Prior to that encounter the party came across a trap that contained wild arcane energy flailing about a chamber contained by an anti-magic shell.   The players could not get the rolls they needed on their Knowledge(arcane) and spellcraft checks to piece together what was actually happening with it.  The cavalier ran through it to no effect but when the arcane trickster tried it was not pretty.  It was the first time ever in a game that I had seen a teleport spell used to get from one side of a room to another!

Poor Seleca ambushed once again!

While they were trying to sort out the trap the cavalier found herself ambushed by skilled barbarian morlocks working for the serpent folk and  almost fell before the monk could get to her aid.  They are tough battles that they are facing and they are not even in the front door of the temple yet.  That will come next week as they are sure to hit seventeenth level when they enter the temple and try to stop whatever ritual is going on to bring back the long decapitated god of the serpent folk that will spell ruin to all of Golarion…

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